CHENNAI: An eight-storeyed Institute of Rheumatology building constructed at the cost of Rs 23 crore with public money has been lying idle at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital for two years due to shortage of staff and pending works.
The Department of Rheumatology was upgraded as an Institute of Rheumatology on July 18, 2015. Then, Director and Head of Rheumatology Institute Dr S Rajeshwari got a sanction for a separate building containing ground plus seven floors and the government sanctioned Rs 23 crore for the construction. Though the building was completed in one year, it is yet to be made functional.
Speaking to Express, an official said, “The Public Works Department sent a proposal for sanction of transformer for power supply for the building and it is pending”. “Additional funds of Rs 3 crore is needed for transformer, and the file is pending with the government,” said another source.
The irony is that the Institute doesn’t have sufficient faculty for two years. “There is no Rheumatology professor. Now, a professor, who is the Director of General Medicine, has been appointed as director-in-charge of Institute of Rheumatology,” said a senior doctor.
Patients from across Tamil Nadu come here for the treatment, but due to staff shortage, the doctors couldn’t handle the cases. “The department has become dysfunctional. The government has sanctioned crores of funds for construction of the building, but hasn’t fill up vacancies,” said the doctor.
The Institute also has four DM Rheumatology seats. “During an Medical Council of India inspection, the government will show Assistant Professors as Associate Professors and get the seats sanctioned,” another source said.
Dr A Edwin Joe, Director of Medical Educations, said “We are now working on the vacancies in all departments. Once we complete that work, we can come out with the actual shortage. We will also look at the Rheumatology department,” he added.